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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Key West

February 15th, 2011 · 1 Comment

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Beauty was everywhere I looked on Key West today. And I looked lots of places.

My morning started with a walk from my lodging to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, America’s southernmost state park. The U.S. Army started building it in 1845, and amazingly it stayed under federal control through the Civil War. Here is the view from the park at the end of the key:

The End of Key West

The End of Key West

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On my way back to where I am staying I spotted the Key West Lighthouse and couldn’t resist climbing the approximately 100 steps to the top. After all, the main problem with Florida is that it’s totally flat — except for things like lighthouses.

My lodging in Key West is the Caribbean House in the old town. In fact, Key West does feel a lot like I imagine the Caribbean to be, although I have previously seen it only in pictures. This area certainly doesn’t look like the rest of Florida that I’ve seen. Key West is closer to Cuba — just 90 miles away — than it is to Miami.

In the afternoon I visited the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden where I saw a greater variety of birds and wildlife than anyplace else here. I knew that I was in the Caribbean when I saw this lizard:

An Iguana in the Sun

An Iguana in the Sun

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Birds there surrounded a pond. But in the middle I saw these eyes peaking out at me:

Turtle Eyes

Turtle Eyes

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But today most of the beauty I saw was bird life. And much of that came as I drove along the shore. My favorite bird today was the Brown Pelican. I can’t decide which of these four shots I like best:

A Brown Pelican Flies

A Brown Pelican Flies

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A Brown Pelican Dives

A Brown Pelican Dives

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A Brown Pelican Lands

A Brown Pelican Lands

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A Brown Pelican Eats

A Brown Pelican Eats

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And today I saw another Turkey Vulture after seeing my first only yesterday on Key Largo:

Today's Turkey Vulture

Today's Turkey Vulture

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This evening I joined the crowds of people. I walked from my lodging to Mallory Square, where everybody seemed to congregate to watch the sunset.

A Small Part of the Sunset-Watching Crowd on Mallory Square

A Small Part of the Sunset-Watching Crowd on Mallory Square

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I almost didn’t take the trouble of walking there, because today was so completely cloudless, and I know that clouds make the most spectacular sunsets. But I’m glad I did, because of views like this:

A Sailboat in the Sun

A Sailboat in the Sun

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After the sun set, I stayed right in place — a waterfront restaurant. My table was right on the water and my dinner included a delicious fish, grouper. It seemed like the appropriate way to end the day.

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Posted in: Florida, Photography

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Ralph Gutierrez // Mar 2, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Thankis for sharing. I too am an amateur photographer with 50 years experience. I love Florida in the winter so I have a chance to photograph exotic birds. I like to visit the Audubon Bird Sanctuary in Englewood and the Bird sancutary on Merritt Island as well as other locations. It’s a good form of relaxation and walking helps the excercise program. Enjoyed your photos above.

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